No man is truly great who is great only in his lifetime. The test of greatness is the page of history.
If we wish to know the force of human genius, we should read Shakespeare. If we wish to see the insignificance of human learning, we may study his commentators.
Great thoughts reduced to practice become great acts.
Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are, and what they ought to be.
The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves.
We are all of us more or less the slaves of opinion.
It is hard for any one to be an honest politician who is not born and bred a Dissenter.
The love of fame, as it enters at times into his mind, is only another name for the love of excellence; or it is the ambition to attain the highest excellence, sanctioned by the highest authority — that of time.
Poetry is the universal language which the heart holds with nature and itself. He who has a contempt for poetry, cannot have much respect for himself, or for anything else.
All that is worth remembering in life, is the poetry of it.
Grace is the absence of every thing that indicates pain or difficulty, or hesitation or incongruity.
Grace has been defined the outward expression of the inward harmony of the soul.
General principles are not the less true or important because, from their nature they elude immediate observation; they are like the air, which is not the less necessary because we neither see nor feel it, or like that secret influence which binds the world together and holds the planets in their orbits.
Well, I’ve had a happy life.
Books let us into their souls and lay open to us the secrets of our own.
When a thing ceases to be a subject of controversy, it ceases to be a subject of interest.
The origin of all science is in the desire to know causes; and the origin of all false science and imposture is in the desire to accept false causes rather than none; or, which is the same thing, in the unwillingness to acknowledge our own ignorance.
The least pain in our little finger gives us more concern and uneasiness, than the destruction of millions of our fellow-beings.
I hate to be near the sea, and to hear it roaring and raging like a wild beast in its den. It puts me in mind of the everlasting efforts of the human mind, struggling to be free, and ending just where it began.
The art of life is to know how to enjoy a little and to endure much.
You know more of a road by having travelled it then by all the conjectures and descriptions in the world.
Look up, laugh loud, talk big, keep the colour in your cheek and the fire in your eye, adorn your person, maintain your health, your beauty, and your animal spirits, and you will pass for a fine man.
Do not keep on with a mockery of friendship after the substance is gone — but part, while you can part friends. Bury the carcass of friendship: it is not worth embalming.
We do not see nature with our eyes, but with our understandings and our hearts.
Those who aim at faultless regularity will only produce mediocrity, and no one ever approaches perfection except by stealth, and unknown to themselves.